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Parvo Paranoia

~ Real or Imagined

Our Client Asked —

Luna not too long before she joined her family.

Is the Parvo virus threat just until they get through their 16 week Titler test? Or is it until they reach a certain age? Just a little unclear what constitutes them being safe for public areas/dog parks etc. If you get the titer test done at 16 weeks it will show if she has immunity to Parvo and if you also have her tested for the Distemper it would also show that. Last time we just tested for the Parvo because Distemper just is not something they are seeing in our area. 

OwyheeStar’s Response

Parvo is a very real risk. Ask any Vet office and they will tell you that the risk is out there, and it is beyond sad when a puppy comes in and they are determined infected. We have never had an OwyheeStar puppy diagnosed with Parvo. Nonetheless, even though nowhere in the Pacific NW is listed as a ‘Hot Spot’ we still need to exercise caution.

I think if you take your puppy for a walk in the neighborhood you should wipe the feet (not let them lick her paws) and make sure they are not investigating a lot of areas where the ground might be infected. In all likelihood, your local neighborhood (if it is a low traffic area) may be fairly safe.

So what do I mean by low traffic? A place less traveled by those with pups. Any area where people are taking random puppies (which might be unknowingly infected). It is understandable that the owner doesn’t yet have a clue. The pups begin shedding the virus long before there is a definitive sign that they are ill. So they are leaving behind the virus everywhere. Of course, they are infecting the ground. But did you know if you viewed this virus under the microscope that one end is barbed–it sticks to clothing, shoes, etc. It is very portable which makes the spread even more commonplace.

More Information

Here are a couple of links that talk about the prevalence of Parvo and how to avoid it—and while it sounds paranoid, you want to socialize the puppy BUT avoid risk.  

Parvo In Puppies

Parvo Virus in Dogs


~We are extra careful

We always leave the pups in the car (when scheduled for the Veterinary Wellness) until the room is ready at the Vet office. It is essential to avoid exposure—to Parvo, Kennel Cough, etc. We never take a young dog that doesn’t have immunity to public places including pet stores (where well-meaning folks might share the virus) such a  Pet Store, Park, Dog Area, or even to socialize at the local Farm Store– etc.

The Vaccine Titer Test

Once the Titer test shows immunity (with a high titer count) you are good to go. We honestly believe if you follow our vaccine protocol you will attain protection. Then by getting the sixteen-week titer test (instead of the typical puppy shot) it is going to allow you to have the freedom to be anywhere. In the meantime though, visit friends homes in a fenced back yard—where pets are vaccinated, etc. Figure out ways to safely socialize your puppy–a hundred different touches in a hundred days would be a good goal. Do what you can–but be safe, my friend.

Winter vs Spring Weimar Pup

Is Waiting for better weather a good reason?

Watson's Breezy_ DSC03650

Breezy a Winter Girl

The idea of getting a pup in the spring is ingrained in our DNA. We were told by those before us, waiting for winter to pass is the way things should be done.

Waiting for spring is certainly an OK approach; however, it is not the only one. More and more folks are realizing the benefits of getting a pup earlier in the year. The trade-offs can work in your favor.

Two Big Pluses are Safety and Time 

  1. SafetyA Watson's Breezy_0048Getting a pup earlier in the year means that by the time spring arrives you can both be out and about. During the high-risk period (the first 20 weeks), it is advisable to avoid high-traffic areas. Almost without exception they are infected with the Parvo virus (as well as other virus, bacteria, and parasites).  It is best to avoid exposing your pup to these risks; this is especially true of the deadly Canine Parvo virus. By the time you reach 20 weeks, the pup is fully inoculated, and their immune system is more developed.
  2. Time — We tend to have more time to dedicate to housebreaking, basic training, and our relationship. Once spring presses in, we find ourselves with projects, plans, and the need to be out there!

Most Importantly….

IMG_2723There are other factors that play into the equation; however, beyond safety and time nothing is more important than knowing you are invested (as well as able to follow through). The Weimaraner pup needs to get off to a good start from day one.

A little hiccup, can all too soon become a major behavioral problem. When a person follows that up with their own reactive behavior, the minor hiccup goes from insignificant to a glaring issue in no time at all. No one goes into the process wanting to fail. It seems we have mentioned that all too much lately; but keep in mind, our goal is to keep you on the right track.

Simple and easy are not synonymous.

Success can be very simple to achieve. We didn’t say easy. Simple and easy are not synonymous. A person doesn’t have to get stressed, or worry about every little detail. You don’t need to read every dog guru or dog whisper’s bit of advice. In fact, doing so may contribute to creating issues. What you want to do is take the time to let the process unfold in the right manner. This means being consistent, giving clear direction, and being concise.

For example, when housebreaking be sure to use the (appropriate-sized) crate when you are not watching, this will alleviate the inadvertent accident in the house. (Puppies who are running around and exploring are so darned cute. They are fun. They are also going to potty every few minutes. Keep in mind, pups which are active squat frequent. Therefore, they require constant supervision–all freedom must be earned.)

New Pup Adjustments; lessons learned together

Watson's Breezy River_0359Rain, snow, and cold weather deter people from wanting to spend time out with their new pup. Nevertheless, these lessons can be good ones. Being out together in inclement weather can be a fun event, or you can teach them to hate it. They really pick up on our response. We readily admit we are not rain-folk We live in far Eastern Oregon. Rain happens, but it is a rare occurrence. Our first Weim, was our original weather mistake. He put on the skids when a drop of rain made an appearance. He never went potty inside; however, rain would certainly make him wait too long. Some OwyheeStar folks living in the Pacific Northwest (where rain, and a rainy-season is a reality) have made plans from day one to spend time playing in the rain. Many of these people report their Weim doesn’t give the rain much thought. Quite possibly they reflect their people’s attitude.

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These photos feature Breezy. She was a winter pup, taken home to the Portland area. Her family has gone to great length to incorporate her into their lives, and to raise her (safely and appropriately) to become a well-adjusted family member. Breezy was recently featured on our Blog–click here to see that post.